When we pray the Lord's prayer, we ask for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven. This tells us that there are two salvations–one on earth and one in heaven (Matthew 6:10, Luke 11:2). When we read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, we see that some traits are given an earthly reward and some the kingdom of heaven.  What is the difference?

A Heavenly Reward Promised to Christians

We find a clue in Romans 12:1, 2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  We must follow the example of Jesus in laying down our lives in order to receive a heavenly resurrection. Heaven is a reward from God for faithfully obeying His will and being transformed into Christ’s character likeness. “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,…since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” Colossians 1:3-5 (ESV)

"By His great mercy we have been born anew to a life of hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, born to an unscathed, inviolate, unfading inheritance; it is kept in heaven for you."  I Peter 1:3, 4 (Moffatt translation of the Bible).

An Earthly Reward for Mankind

However, the vast majority of mankind will receive an earthly resurrection. During Christ’s reign on earth, they will also develop loving, obedient characters. The difference between the two groups is this, mankind will not be developing obedience when there is great opposition to righteousness – as is the case now. No, when Jesus reigns with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27), righteousness will be the rule. Christ will teach mankind God’s truths (Isaiah 2:2-4) and all will know the Lord from the least unto the greatest (Jeremiah 31:34). People will be healed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (Isaiah 35:5-10). Mankind will not need to strive against their fallen flesh, the sinful world, nor the devil. Thus, the willing and obedient of mankind will have life everlasting but on earth and not in heaven.